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The Reflection

How to get the most out of presenting to your peers

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School teaches students how to proceed into life as efficiently as possible and with that comes learning skills that will be used in the real world. One of those is presenting in front of your peers. It is harder than it seems to be a good presenter but with simply an hour of practice, you will see your presentation skill improve drastically.

Put simply, a good presentation can be broken up into three parts: the slideshow itself, the information, and the presenter.

The Slideshow

“The presentation is just a speaking tool; it’s not an essay,” Michelle Jaros says when talking about the do’s and don’ts of presentations.  

According to Gull Lake business teacher Michelle Jaros, a presentation “should be fun to look at.”

“It should just be a guideline for kids to have information so they can speak about the material not just read of the slides,” Jaros said.

A presentation should follow the 7 by 7 rule. Seven lines each with only seven words. Another good numeric rule is the 10-20-30 rule: presentation should have 10 slides, 20 minutes to present, and no smaller than a 30 point font. Now, this rule does not exactly apply to all cases but is a good idea to reference that it should take about two minutes per slide and should have a big, easy to read font.

When it comes to picking the theme of the slideshow, it is best to pick something light with muted colors and relatively simple so that the information you are saying is the star of the show. It is easier to read a test that is dark on a light background rather than light text on a dark background. Plus, light colors make the presentation more appealing to the eye and more inviting. (article continues below video)

The Information

When it comes to how you want to organize and convey the information, traditionally, there are about four choices: informative, demonstrative, persuasive and inspirational presentations.

Informative Presentations: Most commonly used to convey information purely to showcase research.

Demonstrative Presentations: Show the audience how to do something, usually including step by step instructions and lots of pictures

Persuasive Presentations: These presentations address a specific topic or issue and the objective is to change the audience’s opinion to agree with the information shown.

Inspirational Presentations: Inspirational or motivational presentations play off the emotions of the audience and made to make the audience connect with what the presenter is saying and to apply it to their own life.

No matter which way you choose to convey your information, it must be true and on topic. But a good way to keep the audience’s attention is to make it light-hearted and add in an occasional joke to humanize yourself and connect to the audience.

It is also important to pick a topic you have an interest in, it makes the research easier and if the audience can sense your passion, they will pay more attention to what you have to say.

The Presenter

As a presenter, you need to understand the information you are talking about. As you being a presentation it helps to remember that you are becoming the professional of this topic and teaching people who know nothing about it.

It is important for the presenter to speak clearly and loudly while avoiding saying “um.” Be confident and trust the fact that you know what you are presenting.

As middle school turns to high school and high school turns to college, the number of presentations students have to do seems to increase and with it, students dread for them. Presentations can be made a few steps simpler if you follow the ideas stated in this article and you may find that they become fun and exciting. 


I'm a sophomore at Gull Lake High School and I am striving to pursue a career in journalism. I enjoy writing about current events both local and national along with photography. I hope to grow not only as a photographer and a writer but as a person through the experience of the newspaper staff.

1 Comment

  1. Sophia Christensen
    Sophia Christensen

    Great article Caidyn!


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